The Lean Mindset - Beyond Metrics

Once upon a time, capital was scarce and business schools taught managers to preserve capital by measuring the goodness of an investments based on how fast it returned the capital back to the company. But capital is no longer scarce - brainpower is today's scarce resource.

Focusing on financial metrics has led to what Clayton Christensen calls the Capitalist's Dilemma: It takes patient capital to bring about disruptive innovation, and it is disruptive innovation that fuels economies with breakthrough products and new jobs. Diligently maximizing return on capital has stifled innovation and caused a steady decline in long term prosperity.

Making strategic decisions based on financial metrics - or any fixed set of metrics for that matter - is unlikely to lead to the best long term decisions. But what's the alternative? If not financial metrics, then what do we use to make decisions? 

Successful strategies that stand the test of time tend to be based on non-financial levers. The four areas that lean thinkers focus on to give consistent long term results are:

  1. Mindful Employees
  2. Delighted Customers
  3. Making a Difference
  4. Rapid Flow of Value

This workshop is about how to use these four levers for governance, especially when developing software-intensive products.

You will Learn:

  • When to stop using metrics and start using data instead
  • How High Reliability Organizations create an atmosphere of mindfulness
  • What experience design is, why you need it, and how to assess it
  • How to use impact data to steer just about any development effort
  • Why resource efficiency is a bad metric and what to use instead

Learn from the Experts:

Learn first-hand from thought-leaders Mary and Tom Poppendieck how to move to the far side of paradox and a lean mindset. Mary and Tom have pioneered the application of Lean Thinking to software development and documented their principles in books (below).

This one-day workshop is offered either privately or through partners who sponsor a public workshop. For additional information on the Lean Mindset Workshop please contact us at




  • Ask the Right Questions
  • Results are Not the Point
  • Concept to Cash
  • An Agile Toolkit

The Lean Mindset:

Ask the Right Questions

What company doesn't want energized workers, delighted customers, genuine efficiency, and breakthrough innovation? The Lean Mindset shows how lean companies really work, and how a lean mindset is the key to creating stunning products and delivering amazing services.

Leading Lean Software Development:

Results are not the Point

Building on their breakthrough bestsellers Lean Software Development: Concept to Cash and Implementing Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit, Mary and Tom Poppendieck's latest book shows software leaders and team members exactly how to drive high-value change throughout a software organization – and make it stick.

Implementing Lean Software Development:

From Concept to Cash

This book draws on the Poppendiecks' unparalleled experience helping development organizations optimize the entire software value stream. You'll discover the right questions to ask, the key issues to focus on, and techniques proven to work. The authors present case studies from leading-edge software organizations, and offer practical exercises for jumpstarting your own Lean initiatives.

Lean Software Development

An Agile Toolkit

Lean Software Development shows software professionals how to achieve breakthrough quality, savings, speed, and business value by adapting the seven "lean" principles that have already revolutionized manufacturing and R&D. Drawing on 25+ years' experience leading enterprise projects, the authors show how to use these principles to create agile processes that work - because they're optimized for your environment.